Posts Tagged ‘zombie’

One of my favorite genres of horror is the pandemic/post-apocalyptic genre. Maybe because  I absolutely love zombie movies and these films usually feature zombie-like behavior from “humans” as a result of a widespread infectious epidemic.

My 5 favorites in this genre include:

28 Days Later (2002)

Source: Classic-Horror.com

Source: Classic-Horror.com

Directed by Danny Boyle

One of my all-time favorite horror movies ever, 28 Days Later opens with the protagonist Jim waking up from a coma in an abandoned hospital. Once Jim detaches himself from his medical paraphernalia and exits the hospital, he quickly realizes that more than just the hospital is abandoned–the entire city of London is a shambles. It seems that while Jim was in a coma, an extremely contagious blood-born virus called “rage” was released and overtook the population. Aptly named, “rage” caused the Infected to become extremely enraged and aggressive. The Infected behave much like zombies (though they sprint instead of lumber toward their prey), with seemingly no consciousness, merely grunting and attacking anything in sight. Jim meets a few uninfected survivors along the way, and the small group band together to ward off the enraged population. This film is extremely suspenseful and fast-paced, and paints a grim picture of post-pandemic London.

The Crazies (2010)

Source: Only Good Movies

Source: Only Good Movies

Directed by Breck Eisner

Okay, so it’s not quite a “virus” that affects the townspeople of Ogden Marsh, Iowa, it’s a toxin in the water supply that causes people to become homicidally deranged. However, I would still classify this creepy movie starring Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, and Joe Anderson, in the pandemic category. The 2010 film is actually a remake of George Romero’s 1973 rendition, but the plot is slightly different. After a plane carrying a biological weapon crashes into a bog that feeds into the town’s water supply, the townspeople start going inexplicably mad, emotionlessly and savagely murdering family and friends. Timothy Olyphant is the town sheriff, who is shocked when government military shows up and start mercilessly gunning down citizens. He soon realizes that it’s not just “the crazies” he needs to run from, but also the military, who have been sent to Ogden Marsh to contain the issue, at the expense of crazy and sane alike. Timothy, wife Judy, and Deputy Russell are eventually the only uninfected people left, and they must figure out a way to escape town or become the next casualty.

Carriers (2009)

Source: The Post Apoc

Source: The Post Apoc

Directed by David Pastor and Àlex Pastor

A bit more drama than it is horror, but nonetheless I really enjoyed Carriers. In the aftermath of a widespread viral outbreak in the US, Brian (Chris Pine), his girlfriend Bobby (Piper Perabo), Brian’s brother Danny (Lou Taylor Pucci), and their friend Kate (Emily Van Camp), are headed to Turtle Beach in the southwest in hopes that it will be a sanctuary from the plague that has overtaken mankind. On their way, they run into a father and daughter stranded on the road. The daughter is, in fact, infected and the father begs the gang to take her to a nearby school where a doctor is rumored to have developed a serum to cure the virus. This movie is a bit more cerebral than the others, but it’s got its moments of horror and suspense.

Quarantine (2008)

Source: My Zombie Affair

Source: My Zombie Affair

Directed by John Erick Dowdle

This film is actually a remake of a Spanish movie, REC, released the year prior. A found footage-style movie, it stars Jennifer Carpenter as Angela, a local reporter who is doing a story on the local firefighters. While Jennifer and her cameraman Scott (Steve Harris) are at the fire department, the department gets a call to respond to an emergency call from an apartment building. They could have not have made a worse mistake. Upon arriving at the apartment building to subdue a rabidly aggressive older woman, it becomes clear that something very serious is going on. The movie is seen from the point of view of the cameraman, who captures the chaos that ensues. It seems that a perturbed tenant, a member of a doomsday cult, stole a virus from a chemical weapons lab and released it in the building causing those who came into contact with it to present signs similar to rabies. Like The Crazies, this is another situation where the characters are plagued not only by the infected but also by the government who want to cover up and contain the catastrophe.

I am Legend (2007)

Source: Cinematic Thoughts

Source: Cinematic Thoughts

Directed by Francis Lawrence

And last but not least, I am Legend, stars Will Smith as Robert Neville, a scientist and apparently the lone survivor of a massive virus, which was originally created to cure cancer, but instead killed 90% of the world’s population. The remaining “infected” are vampire-like, avoiding daylight, and attacking anything in sight. All alone except for his dog Sam, Robert spends his time trying to develop a cure, which involves the dangerous task of capturing the infected and taking them back to his lab for vaccine trials.

Got a favorite that’s not on the list? Let us know which plague movies you love most!

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Happy Saturday all you lovers of the macabre!

Last week, Emily named some honorable mentions to whet your grisly appetites for our 2012 pick for best horror movie. There were some great picks in there, but we think this one trumps all the others hands down.

The Cabin in the Woods (directed by Drew Goddard) 

Source: IMDB

Source: IMDB

Here are my reasons why this movie reigns supreme for best horror movie of 2012:

It Keeps you Guessing

Released on April 13, 2012 with the tagline, “You think you know the story”, The Cabin in the Woods (written by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, creator of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series) leaves you guessing from the opening scene of the movie.

The movie opens with two lab geeks (Richard Jenkins of Stepbrothers and Bradley Whitford of The West Wing) having a seemingly mundane conversation. I saw this in theaters and remember thinking that I might have walked into the wrong movie theater because these two guys seemed to have nothing at all to do with a scary movie. A few seconds later my confusion was dispelled when the movie title splashed across the screen in large red letters. Okay, I had walked into the right theater after all.

The Cabin in the Woods quickly switches gear, and focuses on the main character, Dana (Kristen Connolly) who is readying herself for a weekend away with four friends at a cabin in the woods. Aussie hottie Chris Hemsworth plays Curt, female Aussie hottie Anna Hutchinson plays Jules, pothead Marty is played by the awesome Fran Kranz, and Jesse Williams plays the sweet good guy, Holden.

The five college students head out of town on their backwoods adventure, and that’s when things start getting downright weird. An eagle soars over a canyon, smacks into an invisible electric barrier, and plummets to its death. The two lab geeks make more appearances as the plot unfolds, and you wonder what the heck they have to do with the cabin in the woods. The five friends stop for gas at a rundown shithole of a gas station in the middle of nowhere and are warned of their doom by a creepy, tobacco chewing redneck. They ignore him as young folks always do in horror movies, and head on to their destination. When they arrive at the cabin, that’s when things really start getting weird.

And still you wonder, where is this movie going? Well, I won’t tell you because it’s so bizarre and well-crafted that it will be ruined unless you watch it for yourself. But on to the other reasons this movie is so awesome…

Comedic Element

It can be difficult indeed for a horror movie to successfully straddle the line between scary and comedic but The Cabin in the Woods does just that, and with excellent results. There are many elements of suspense in the movie where you’ll find you’re bracing yourself for something horrific to happen. However, these scary moments are balanced by moments of lightheartedness.

Marty, who reminds me of a human version of Shaggy from Scooby Doo, is perfect for the role of the silly, but sage stoner. He may be high, but he also sees things that no one else is picking up on.

In fact, there are several ways in which The Cabin in the Woods reminds me of one of my all-time favorite movies, Scream. It’s got the comedy/horror juxtaposition, it pokes fun at some of the horror movie stereotypes as this movie also does, and Marty reminds me quite a bit of Scream‘s Randy.

Source: A.V. Club

Source: A.V. Club

It Offers Something Fresh

The horror movie genre has been pretty well picked over, and there hasn’t been a lot of innovation in recent years. We’re seeing a lot of remakes of old movies and redundant plot lines, and it’s just gotten…stale.

Enter The Cabin in the Woods. I guarantee this plot hasn’t been done before….

Creativity

In my opinion, this might be the most creative horror movie I’ve ever seen. The plot is out there and far-fetched but enjoyable, and in what other movie would you see homicidal unicorns, maniacal clowns, unhinged child ballerinas, redneck zombies, masked murderers, and a merman all in one place? I’ve gotta hand it to The Cabin in the Woods–it seamlessly connects a plethora of unconnected horror genres together into one big masterpiece.

Source: Dinosaur Dracula

Source: Dinosaur Dracula

293

Source: Dinosaur Dracula

76

Source: Dinosaur Dracula

Effects

The movie, shot in Vancouver, Canada, had a budget of $30 million and more than 60 artists worked on the effects before filming even began. The awesome special effects brings all the blood, guts, and fear to life in a tangible way.

Element of the Unexpected

I’m going to be vague so as not to ruin the movie for those of you who haven’t seen it, but suffice it to say, the movie breaks a lot of “rules”. No one is “safe” and don’t assume you know how the movie is going to end. I’ve seen a lot of horror movies but this one definitely went in an unexpected direction. And I loved it!

There’s so much more I could say about this movie, but not without giving it away.  If you haven’t seen The Cabin in the Woods, watch it and let us know what you think!  If you have, do you agree or disagree with our pick as best horror movie of 2012? Let us know, we love to hear from you!

R